From Kanyakumari to Kashmir
Merryl D’Souza at Lachungla Pass, the second highest pass (at an altitude of 5,065 m) on the Manali-Leh Highway.
Starting point: A view from Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of the Indian peninsula, where she started her journey. pics courtesy/ Merryl D’Souza
Chang La Pass: Kashmir To Kanyakumari, India is One — a signboard at Chang La Pass, a 5350 m high mountain pass in Ladakh. The road to the pass is steep and demands careful driving
Across the tropic of cancer: Stopover at a point where the Tropic of Cancer passes through Gujarat. D’Souza recalls the state’s roads were some of the best she rode on her journey
Army detour: Pakistani militants were captured at Udhampur leading to blockades. She stopped by this Army café on the Srinagar-Leh Highway, taking a 40 km detour to reach there as per plan
Shaky roads, beautiful SKies: A landslide near Pang caused nearly 2 kms of the road to be swept away. She had to take an 80 km detour. Despite the bumpy ride, the natural beauty bowled her over
Age is no limit: On her ride from Leh to Manali, she met a group of bikers aged 50 to 75, as well as two women Bullet bikers
A spy-sea ride A cheeky signboard that D’Souza spotted during her ride on Karnataka’s highways
That on-top-of-the-world feeling!
“I passed the highest motorable road in the world, Khardungla, during my week-long stay in Leh. This was a special stop also because I had been carrying an Indian National Flag that was gifted to me by a group of autorickshaw drivers at Santakatte stand in my hometown, Mangalore, Karnataka.
During an overnight stay at Dandeli, Karnataka, it was torn by a few kids; only the green part of the flag was untouched. When I reached Khardungla, I tied the flag on this sign board,” recalls 29-year-old D’Souza.